DORSET WILDFOWLERS’ ASSOCIATION FOR SHOOTING AND CONSERVATION
CONSTITUTION AND RULES APRIL 2018
CONSTITUTION AND AIMS
1. The Dorset Wildfowlers' Association for Shooting and Conservation
(DWA) is a club for sportsmen and women committed to wildfowling
and field sports.
2. The aims of the DWA are:
a. To uphold the rights of its members as wildfowlers and field
b. To help and support its members in all practical ways, with
particular emphasis on wildfowling.
c. To promote mutual understanding among field sportsmen and
women, particularly in wildfowling matters.
d. To promote increased public understanding and tolerance of all
legitimate forms of live quarry shooting.
e. To gather and pass on any relevant information.
f. To promote sporting etiquette in all its forms.
g. To promote conservation of the Dorset countryside, Poole Harbour
and the Dorset littoral.
h. To promote the study and knowledge of wildfowl, ornithology and
natural history in the widest sense.
3. The objectives of the DWA are:
a. To preserve legitimate and sporting wildfowling and shooting in
Dorset for DWA members.
b. To promote and safeguard its members’ interests, as decided at the
Annual General Meeting (AGM), General Meetings or by the
c. To provide wildfowling in Poole Harbour, rough shooting, rifle
shooting (both full and small bore), seeking to provide more as
d. To provide pest control shooting or other legitimate and sporting
means of controlling pests and vermin.
e. To provide clay pigeon shooting when there is sufficient interest to
f. To foster and develop the study of wildfowl, game birds and
mammals, ornithology, and natural history.
g. To promote practical conservation wherever feasible.
4. The DWA is managed by an Executive Committee, which is elected
annually at the AGM, and has the authority to ensure that the Aims
and Objectives of the DWA are met.
5. The Officials of the DWA are a President, Vice-Presidents, a
Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Conservation
Officer, Wildfowl Officer, Rough Shoot Officer, Membership
Secretary, Hon Legal Advisor(s) and Hon Gunsmith(s).
6. The Executive Committee is to consist of at least 8 members,
including the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer,
Conservation Officer, Rough Shoot Officer, Wildfowling Officer and
7. There are to be other members appointed as Club Officers for the
purpose of running discrete DWA activities as required by the
Executive Committee. Examples include the Rifle Officer and
8. All officials, Executive Committee members and Club Officers are to
be appointed annually at the AGM.
9. All offices are honorary, but Executive Committee members and club
officers are entitled to be reimbursed for expenditure in promoting the
DWAs business. The Secretary and Treasurer are to be rewarded with
a £100 pa honorarium, payable at the end of their tenure in office.
10. General meetings are to be held bi-monthly, usually at 8pm on the
last Thursday of the month at a venue to be determined by the
Executive Committee. Meetings will be held in April, June, August,
October and December, with the AGM in February in accordance
with rule 12. Additional, informal meetings may be arranged at the
discretion of the Executive Committee, during those months when no
formal meeting is planned. The purpose of the General Meetings is:
a. To discuss DWA matters of interest to all members.
b. To pass on information about any matter or forthcoming event that
may affect members.
c. To provide educational entertainment on any subject of field sports
or general natural history.
11. The Executive Committee is to meet monthly, usually at 8 pm on
the second Thursday of the month. All Executive Committee
members are expected to attend, and Club Officers are expected to
attend where their duties require them to do so. The Secretary is to
invite those to attend where the agenda for the Committee Meeting
includes discussion of those Officers responsibilities.
12. The AGM is to be held at the end of February annually in place of
the General Meeting, unless changed by resolution at a previous
AGM. All Executive Committee members and Club Officers are to
report to the members, with a written copy to the Secretary, of their
activities in the previous year.
13. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any
time by written application of 10 members or more to the Chairman.
Special Committee Meetings may be called at any time by the written
application of 3 Committee Members and Club Officers to the Chairman.
The applications are to state the reason for the request and be
signed by all applicants.
14. Nominations for all appointments are to be made at least 3 weeks
before the AGM to the Secretary. All nominations are to be signed by
a proposer and seconder and the candidate, who is to indicate his
willingness to stand.
15. Following debate, if any, resolutions at all meetings are to be
decided by simple majority on a show of hands. Where a member is
unable to attend the meeting, a postal, e-mail or proxy vote will also
be accepted. A postal, e-mail or proxy vote may also be used as the
sole ballot method, if required. These alternative voting methods will
be controlled to ensure duplicate votes cannot be cast. In the event of
even voting, the Chairman has the casting vote. The Chairman is to
declare the result of any vote, and the Secretary is to record the main
points of the debate and the members decision.
16. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are responsible to the President
and members for running the DWA in accordance with the aims and
objectives of the DWA.
17. The Secretary is to maintain a record of the meetings, recording the
decisions taken and briefly recording the discussion. He is also to run
the business affairs, less finance, of the DWA, in liaison with the
18. The Treasurer is to maintain the accounts of the DWA in a legal
and honest manner. He is to maintain the accounts in credit, seeking
at every opportunity to improve the financial standing of the DWA.
He is to handle all financial transactions for the DWA, receiving
monies, and issuing cheques as required. Bank accounts are to be
maintained at a single, convenient branch of a High Street Bank. All
cheques are to be signed by the Treasurer, and counter-signed by
either the Chairman or Secretary; all cheques are to carry two
19. The financial year of the DWA is from 1st January to 31st
December annually. The accounts are to be closed and balanced by
the Treasurer. They are to be audited by an elected Executive
Committee member and 2 ordinary members, who are required to
check that the accounts have been properly maintained, are accurate
and are in accordance with the DWAs aims and objectives.
20. As a further safeguard, the Treasurer is to balance the accounts at
the end of June annually, and provide proof of cash and bank
balances to the elected Executive Committee member and ordinary
members, who are to check that the accounts are accurate and
21. The audited DWA Balance Sheet, and account of income and
expenditure with a comparison of the previous year’s figures, are to
be presented at the AGM as a proposal. The Executive Committee
member and ordinary members for the next years auditing and
supervision are also to be elected at the AGM.
22. The Rough Shoot Officer is responsible for all aspects of the
syndicate shooting on land, through appointed syndicate captains.
The Wildfowl Officer is responsible for all aspects of wildfowling in
Poole Harbour below the Mean Springs High Water Mark. The
Conservation Officer is responsible for promoting conservation in its
widest sense among members.
23. Membership runs from 1 September to 31 August annually.
Subscriptions will be calculated based on the current BASC
Affiliated Club membership rate and a DWA membership element.
The rates will be decided by the Executive Committee and announced
no later than the April General Meeting.
24. There are 6 types of membership, as follows:
a. Full Members. Adult members of the DWA, who have the right to
vote on all affairs of the DWA, and to serve on the Executive
Committee or be elected to Club Office. The Full Membership fee
comprises the current BASC Affiliated Club membership
subscription plus a DWA membership element.
b. Junior Members. Those who will still be under the age of 18 on the
1st April following subscriptions becoming due. They are entitled
to vote but not be appointed to office. They are to pay the BASC
subscription plus a DWA membership element.
c. Honorary Members. Normally awarded for long or valued
membership and service to the DWA, and proposed and seconded
for approval at an AGM. Honorary members retain voting rights
and are expected to pay their own BASC subscription or provide
proof of individual membership. In addition, those Honorary
Members wishing to be a member of a DWA syndicate should pay
a contribution to cover a proportion of insurance costs etc., which
comprises a reduced DWA membership element.
d. Husband & Wife Members. Where a spouse is a full member, the
other spouse may be a member at a reduced rate. The combined
subscription will be calculated as twice the current BASC
subscription plus a DWA membership element. They have the
same rights as full members
e. Gamekeeper Member. A Gamekeeper Member of BASC who pays
a DWA membership element. They have the same rights as full
f. OAP Member. Person over the age of 65, paying current BASC
subscription plus a DWA membership element. They have the
same rights as full members.
g. Social member. A non-shooting DWA member, who has no need
for insurance therefore may not belong to BASC. Social members
pay a DWA membership element and are therefore eligible to vote
and serve on the Committee, they do not, however, take part in any
form of shooting.
h. Student Member. A bona fide full time Student aged over the
junior membership limit. The subscription shall be the current
BASC Student subscription plus a DWA membership element.
They have the same rights as full members.
i. Probationary member. A new DWA member who has not
completed the induction programme. They are entitled to vote and
take part in shooting activity under supervision, but may not
become syndicate members. Probationary members automatically
become full members on satisfactory completion of the induction
programme. Their membership fee comprises the current BASC
affiliated club membership subscription plus a DWA membership
25. At its discretion, the Executive Committee shall offer, to those
members whose Membership Fees incorporate a BASC Affiliated
Club membership subscription (namely Full, Husband & Wife and
OAP members), the ability to pay their membership fees in twelve
equal instalments, which will be determined according to Rule 23.
These twelve equal instalments shall be paid one in each calendar
month from March to February each year, in payment of the
membership year, as defined in Rule 23. Full, Husband & Wife and
OAP members can, at any time, convert from paying annually to
monthly, by paying the appropriate monthly fee for any prior months
that they would have already paid for if they were paying monthly.
They would then pay the monthly fee from that point onward.
Membership fees for all other classes of DWA membership shall be
paid at the beginning of the DWA membership year, as defined in
26. The Entrance Fee is to be determined by the Executive Committee,
and is to be paid on joining by all new members and lapsed members
on rejoining unless declared exempt by the Committee. Each new
member is to be given a copy of these rules on joining.
27. Every candidate for membership is to complete a questionnaire
and supply a passport photograph. Wherever possible applicants are
to be proposed and seconded by two current full members. All
candidates may be interviewed at the discretion of the Committee. All
applications are to be submitted to the Executive Committee for their
approval. All applicants who are accepted for membership will be
admitted on a probationary basis and may not shoot on any DWA
shoot unless accompanied by a full member. Probationary members
will be required to undertake an induction programme to:
a. demonstrate safe gun handling
b. knowledge of shooting law and etiquette
c. wildfowl recognition
d. attend a harbour familiarisation trip and work party.
Probationary members will automatically become full members on
satisfactory completion of the induction programme. The purpose of
this procedure is to ensure that members are fit and proper persons,
who are committed to preserving the future of field sports. This
should not prevent the membership of young people or those new to
the sport, who have yet to gain experience and who may do so
through the DWA.
28. The discussion of controversial political or religious topics at
meetings is forbidden, unless closely linked to a current field sports
29. Any member who breaks any DWA rule, or acts against the
interest of the DWA and its members, or breaks any rule of good
conduct or good sporting behaviour may be suspended from the
DWA. The decision for suspension will be taken in Committee, after
consideration of all the facts available to them, and if necessary,
calling for evidence from all involved or affected. Where suspension
is considered too harsh, the Committee should consider other
disciplinary action. The member(s) concerned is to have written
details of the alleged wrongdoings and may be given right to appeal
to a General Meeting.
30. The Committee may expel any member for misconduct, provided it
is proved to a satisfactory standard (that is the balance of probability),
or for any serious act, which the Committee judges to be against the
interest(s) of the DWA and its members. The member(s) concerned is
to have written details of the alleged wrongdoings and may be given
right to appeal to a General Meeting.
31. Rules may be made, amended, or cancelled at an AGM or any
EGM called for that purpose. The agenda for the Meeting is to be sent
to members 14 days in advance of any AGM or EGM showing the
proposals, in order that members have sufficient time to consider the
proposals before the Meeting.
32. There shall be not more than three TRUSTEES OF THE
ASSOCIATION. The first Trustees shall be appointed by the
Committee and the property of the Association (other than cash
which shall be under the control of the Treasurer) shall be vested in
them to be dealt with by them as the Committee shall from time to
time direct by resolution (of which an entry in the Minute Book shall
be conclusive evidence). The Trustees shall be indemnified against
risk and expense out of the Association property. The Trustees shall
hold until death or resignation or until removed from office by a
resolution of the Committee which may be for any proper reasons
which may seem sufficient to a majority of the members of the
Committee present and voting at any meeting remove any Trustee or
Trustees from the office of Trustee. Where by reason of any such
death, resignation or removal it shall appear necessary to the
Committee that a new Trustee or Trustees shall be appointed or, if the
Committee shall deem it expedient to appoint an additional Trustee or
additional Trustees, the Committee shall by resolution nominate the
person or persons to be appointed to the new Trustee or Trustees. For
the purpose of giving effect to such nomination the Chairman of the
Association is nominated as the person to appoint new Trustees of the
Association within the meaning of the Trustee Act 1925 Section 36
and shall by deed appoint the person or persons so nominated by the
Committee as the Trustee or new Trustees of the Association and the
provisions of the Trustee Act 1925 shall apply to any such
appointment. Any statement of fact in any such deed of appointment
shall in favour of a person dealing bona fide and for value with the
Association or the Committee, be conclusive evidence of the fact so
33. Where it is considered necessary to dispose of any DWA asset by
sale, gift or deed, 75% of the Executive Committee must attend the
meeting to discuss the proposal. A simple majority may decide on
such a disposal
34. Members taking part in any DWA shooting must be full paid up
members of the DWA and BASC. They are to be covered by 3rd
Party or Public Liability Insurance.
35. All members are to comply with UK and local law in relation to
firearms, ammunition, and shooting in any form.
36. The Rough Shoot Officer is to maintain a list of members of the
various Syndicates, not including Wildfowl Harbour Permit Holders.
He is also to maintain a single list of those waiting to join a syndicate:
syndicates are not to maintain private lists. Applications to join the
waiting list of any syndicate may be made to the Rough Shoot Officer
at any time. Syndicate Captains are to inform the Rough Shoot
Officer of any vacancies that occur, or are likely to occur, in their
syndicates. The Rough Shoot Officer is to appoint members to
syndicate vacancies, in consultation with Syndicate Captains. A
member should not normally occupy a place on more than one
syndicate. However, where vacancies still exist at the start of the
syndicate year and there is no other member waiting, a member may
join a second syndicate for the duration of that syndicate year, with
no guarantee that he can continue in subsequent years.
37. Syndicate Captains are responsible for complying with the law and
the terms of the lease.
38. Syndicate fees are to cover the cost of the syndicate lease, and are
to be paid to Syndicate Captains in time for the rent to be paid on
time. Only with the authority of the Committee will syndicates be
allowed to borrow DWA funds to cover rent or other costs.
39. Syndicates, under the leadership of the Syndicate Captain, will
formulate their own rules, which are to be submitted to the Executive
Committee for approval prior to being taken into use. Copies are to
be given to each syndicate member and to the Rough Shoot Officer.
Syndicate Captains are to report, with a written copy to the Secretary,
at the AGM. In their absence, a representative must be appointed.
40. Pest shooting and vermin control is to be controlled by the Pest
Officer. In executing his duties, he may be required to levy small
charges to cover administrative costs in arranging the shooting or
control. Members may apply to the Pest Officer at any time for
inclusion on his list of pest control members, and on initial
application and annually, at a time announced by the Pest Officer,
produce for his inspection a valid shotgun (or Fire Arms) certificate.
41. Members’ dogs are to be kept under control.
42. No fowl are to be offered for sale under any pretext from DWA
shoots. (Note: It is a criminal offence to offer Wild Geese for sale.)
43. The use of any gun, rifle or weapon to fire or propel a single
projectile for the purpose of killing wildfowl on tidal waters is
prohibited and deemed to be conduct detrimental to the sport of
44. Rifle shooting, full and small bore, is to be conducted under the
auspices of the Rifle Officer, who is to ensure that all necessary
legislation, rules and guidance are complied with. He and another
member are to be qualified as Range Conducting Officers in
accordance with NRA or other applicable regulations.
45. Shooting by Members’ Guests. Members of the DWA may invite
non-members to shoot provided that they are members of a field
sports body recognized by the DWA (acknowledging need for 3rd
party insurance and support for field sports) and provided that they
make the appropriate arrangements in good time with the Rough
Shoot or Wildfowl Officer. The DWA member must accompany the
guest at all times and is held responsible for all aspects of his/her
conduct and behavior, including briefing the guest on what to expect
and the rules of the DWA.